In a Madhouse's Din: Civil Rights Coverage by Mississippi's Daily Press, 1948-1968

Synopsis

Mississippi is a unique case study as a result of its long-standing defiance of federal civil rights legislation and the fact that nearly half its population was black and relegated to second-class citizenship. According to the vast majority of Mississippi daily press editorials examined between 1948 and 1968, the notion that blacks and whites were equal as races of people was a concept that remained unacceptable and inconceivable. While the daily press certainly did not advocate desegregation, in contrast to what many media critics have reported about the Southern press promoting violence to suppress civil rights activity, Mississippi daily newspapers never encouraged or condoned violence during the time periods under evaluation. Weill places coverage of these important events within a historical context, shedding new light on media opinion in the state most resistant to the precepts of the civil rights movement.